Welcome Aboard! Why Onboarding is Key

Following an arduous hiring process and finally getting your new hire in the building for their first day, it can be easy to overlook the process of acclimating them to their new surroundings, known as onboarding. Here are a few tips on how to get your employee started off on the right foot.

1.  Remember that onboarding begins before your employee’s first day

There can often be a period of a couple of weeks to a month or longer until your employee’s start date. Make sure there isn’t radio silence on your end; use the opportunity to help your new employee feel validated in their decision to join you. Check in with them every couple of weeks via phone and or/email to let them know how excited that you are for them to start. Talk about projects they will work on; send them benefits information to review; and, even new provide new hire paperwork that they can start completing prior to starting.

2.   Ensure your employee has a desk

Sadly, it’s not uncommon that when an employee starts, the employer is not ready for them. Make sure that you have identified a workspace, obtained a computer, email address and login, phone extension, access to all the applications needed, and anything else needed to ensure that your new employee has all the resources they need to get to work and be productive. Failure to do so will have your new employee questioning their decision on day one.

3.  Make introductions

Even the most extroverted new hire may feel uneasy about meeting his or her new colleagues, so it’s critical to get introductions done upon arrival. Give advance notice to the people who will be working closely with your new employee. Let the new hire know about when people generally take lunch (though take them out on their first day), and don’t just leave them alone for the rest of the day once they are at their desk. Check up on them a couple of times throughout their first day.

4.  Make a plan

Help your new employee get a sense of how things operate on a day-to-day basis and talk about the mission and vision of the company, your thoughts and opinions, and take the time to have planning sessions to discuss your view the company, your goals, etc. Talk to them about what they will experience and accomplish by the end of their first day, week, month, quarter, etc.  And, help them set objectives for these accountabilities.

5.  Follow-up meetings

Stay in contact with your new employee. It’s not enough to have a couple of interactions at the beginning of your new hire’s time with the company and then only speak to them when you need them to do some extra work. You can’t water a plant twice when you first buy it, forget about it, and expect it to grow anyway.

Keep your new employee engaged by meeting with them regularly to talk about what they are working on, their challenges, and how you can best support them. Further, this is your opportunity to provide them feedback on how they are doing. Not only will they appreciate you taking the time to check in, but you also will get insight into how they are feeling and fitting in, which is a key reason employees don’t work out.

The first few months are arguably the most crucial time for any employee, and can set the tone for success or failure depending on how they are introduced to their new job and the company. Make sure that they are set up for success by including them and giving them the time and tools to be successful.

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